Africa’s tech giant Naspers and Canada’s state pension fund have reportedly pumped in a total of $540 million as an investment in Indian Education technology platform Byju’s.
Naspers has released an official statement confirming the investment. According to the statement, the investment money will be used to fuel Byju’s global expansion plan.
“The investment will drive the Byju’s team to further innovate, explore and set new benchmarks for tech-enabled learning products,” the statement read, reported Reuters.
As part of the investment deal, Russell Dreisenstock, Head of International Investments at Naspers Ventures, will be joining the Byju’s board.
“With the largest school-age population in the world and a growing middle-class with the willingness to commit significant resources towards quality education for their children, BYJU’S is perfectly positioned to provide an effective supplemental education solution for students across India,” Russell said. “We partnered with Byju’s because we believe the company’s success in India will translate across borders in any country where students are looking for an innovative and engaging form of education beyond the classroom.”
The Bengaluru-based company launched the Byju’s-The Learning App in 2015. The app offers tools for school students in India, a country with the world’s largest number of children in primary education. The Byju’s app had around 20 million registered students and 1.26 million annual paid subscribers till June this year, the number has since increased to 30 million registered students and 2 million annual paid subscribers.
The latest round of investment is expected to value Byju’s at around $3.6-3.7 billion, making it one of the most valued ed-tech companies in the world and one of India’s top five most valued internet companies.
Other investors in Byju’s include Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, Tencent, Sequoia Capital, Sofina, Verlinvest, Aarin Capital, Times Internet, Lightspeed Venture Partners and the International Finance Corporation (IFC). Byju’s last raised a funding of $35 million from Tencent in July 2017.
In related news, Naspers has been approved for a secondary listing on A2X Markets (A2X). The company will retain its primary listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) and its issued share capital will remain unaffected by its secondary listing on A2X. The shares will be available to trade on both the JSE and A2X starting December 27.